Eton Mess is a classic, English summer dessert…
If we enter a café or a cake shop or even a pub in England, it is almost guaranteed you would find cheesecake on the menu or in the display. It is a basic cake which appeared in Hungary perhaps 10-15 years ago – or at least this was the time when I first heard of it and tried it. Ever since I have been a cheesecake fan. I must admit, I have always thought cheesecake was originally an English cake but that is not the case. Apparently, ancient Greeks already made cheesecakes and the “modern” cheesecake appeared in cookbooks from 14th century. Later on the recipe were changed and two main types are made: baked and unbaked. The unbaked version is an American version and these cheesecakes are quite deep (New York cheesecake). You would find the most varieties of cheesecakes in the US.
I have to admit, I had never made a cheesecake until 2016, I always had them in cake shops but what I realized is that the quality of a cheesecake can vary an awful lot. As a consequence I always wondered what MY cheesecake would be like, therefore it was one of the cakes I made in the UK. I appreciate, it is something basic that everybody knows, but for me it was something new and better to start later than never. It went surprisingly well and the cake turned out very well. Since it is on the list of favourite cakes I bake occasionally, as we try to have a healthy diet and avoid sugar.
The recipe is from one of my favourite TV presenters, Mary Berry, however, I slightly changed this recipe.
For the base
75g digestive biscuits
40g unsalted butter
For the filling
50g unsalted butter
80g icing sugar (if you have a really sweet tooth you can use double amount which would be the original quantity – I always use less sugar)
450g cream cheese (full fat)
1 lemon zest and juice
150ml double cream
Grease the tin and put non-stick parchment paper inside.
Put the biscuits into a plastic bag and crush it with a wooden rolling pin until it is finely smashed. Melt the butter in a little pot and add the biscuits into it, stir it well. Transfer the crushed biscuits to the tin and press it with a back of a spoon.
Mix the butter, sugar, cream cheese, lemon juice and zest, flour and egg yolks in a pot. Fold the lightly whipped cream into the mixture. Whisk the egg whites in another pot and gently fold it into the mixture. Transfer the mixture to the tin and level the surface with a spatula.
Bake it for 1 ¼ hour at 160C Fan. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside to cool. Best to serve it cold with a raspberry sauce and some berries.
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